On June 2nd, as celebrities flooded social media with black squares, Pierce Brosnan skipped ‘Blackout Tuesday’ and spoke out, instead, on Covid-19 and climate change. Now, the ‘James Bond’ alum and doting family man shares his support of the Black Lives Matter movement, writing, “There comes a time to demand change. If not now, when?”
Brosnan is photographed with his wife Keely Bronson and their son Dylan.
Comforting Words & Family MilestonesRead More
“Thank you for the moon and sun and all the days of our lives together my darling heart Keely. I had a great 67th birthday. Thanks to one and all of you out there who wished me so. God bless, stay strong.”
In May, he marked his son, Dylan’s graduation from USC School of Cinematic Arts with the words: “Go forth into this new world and make it your own. Be fearless, courageous and generous. Love, Dad.”
Ovarian Cancer Heartbreak
Brosnan has known the heartbreak of losing a loved one to ovarian cancer. And his tragedy now inspires others in the cancer community. After four years of treatment, Brosnan’s first wife, Cassandra, died of the disease in 1991 at age 43. Her mother had also died of ovarian cancer. In 2013, their daughter, Charlotte, 42, lost her battle with ovarian cancer as well.
“I was in a helpless state of confusion and anger,” he told PEOPLE, of his long period of grief.
He shared this memory of Cassie (above), photographed with Roger Moore, on the occasion of Moore’s 2017 death. Cassie had appeared with Moore in the Bond film, “For Your Eyes Only.”
He credits his wife of 26 years with restoring his happiness. But his story underscores the importance of genetic testing for all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, regardless of age, the type of ovarian cancer, or family history.
“We know that women who have no family history of ovarian cancer still can have the BRCA mutation,” says Dr. Ursula Matulonis of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Joanna Gutermuth, an ovarian cancer survivor, shares how genetic testing saved her life.
The link between the ovarian cancer deaths of Brosnan’s first wife, Cassandra, her mother, and their daughter is likely this shared gene mutation, and their story is instructive for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Dr. Beth Karlan, gynecologic oncologist at UCLA Medical Center did not treat Cassandra or Charlotte, but advises genetic testing can have life-saving benefits, especially because ovarian cancer is curable in over 90 percent of cases when diagnosed early.
Dr. Ursula Matulonis of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute says patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she should undergo genetic testing for BRCA mutations.
A recent study found that too few women are being tested for mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene. Both place those who carry the mutation at a heightened risk for breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer usually develops in women who are post-menopause. But younger women may also get the disease. A woman who inherits the BRCA1 gene has a 44% lifetime risk (by age 80) for developing ovarian or fallopian tube cancer and 70-80% risk of developing breast cancer.
With the BRCA2 gene, the risk for ovarian and fallopian tube cancer is 17% higher, while the breast cancer risk is around 70%. Women should consult with their doctor, rather than relying on home genetic test kits to identify BRCA genes.